Bilston residents react after 19-year-old stabbed to death near to primary school and homes
Bilston residents today reacted to the tragic news that a 19-year-old man had been stabbed to death near to a primary school and their homes.
Those living on Green Park Avenue, Wolseley Road, Westfield Road and Laburnum Road in the Stowlawn area of Bilston woke up to the sight of police tape, officers and vehicles.
Emergency services rushed to the scene after a 19-year-old man, later named as Shawn Seesahai, was stabbed and found on the Stowlawn Playing Fields, which is set between Laburnum Road and Green Park Avenue, at around 8.30pm on Monday.
Police have since launched a murder investigation.
Nothing could be done to save him and he died of his injuries at the scene.
The area remained closed off, with no access to the area from any direction and a blue tent clearly visible on the field, while officers from West Midlands Police were seen at the entrance to the fields at Laburnum Road and at the junction of Wolseley Road and Green Park Avenue.
For residents living nearby, the events of the previous night were a lot to take in, with one resident, who asked not to be named, saying he was worried about the area becoming more dangerous.
He said: "I heard about it this morning and, to be honest, I can't say I'm that surprised as I think it's getting worse around here, with people trying to break into houses and other things.
"I had something recently where I was at the shops on Middleway Green and there was a gang nearby and I swear they were eyeing me up and down and looking at my watch, so I think things are getting more dangerous around here."
The nearby Stowlawn Primary School had put out a message to let parents know that it was still open despite the police cordon, although it did warn parents that the entranceway was closed off at the Wolseley Road and Green Park Avenue junction.
A number of parents had arrived at the cordon and been left having to climb over a nearby fence to access the school, with one parent saying she was worried for her children after hearing about the incident.
She said: "I hadn't heard what had happened until this morning and it's scary to see all this police tape near the school.
"It's also worrying as my children go to this school and I hope they are safe as to hear about someone dying nearby is awful."
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had heard about the incident from a WhatsApp group which covered the area. He also said that while the area was fairly peaceful, there could be an undercurrent of threat at times.
He said: "I was at home and didn't hear much last night until it got mentioned on the WhatsApp group, then came out to see police and flashing lights.
"This sort of thing very rarely happens around here as, usually, it's pretty safe, apart from a few idiots speeding down Wolseley Road or the odd break-in along the way.
"I do know there's been a few incidents further over at Middleway Green, where I think the shop there got robbed at one point, so people have to be careful, but I don't think it's as bad as people think."
Across the green on Laburnum Road, residents were more hesitant to speak about what had happened, although one man did talk about some of the trouble he had seen in the past.
He said: "I didn't see what happened last night and the first I heard was when the police came and knocked on my door, but it's terrible to hear about someone dying."
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Laburnum Road at 8.41pm and sent two ambulances, a paramedic officer and two Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Cars to the scene.
"The first resource arrived on scene within three minutes of the call being made.
“Crews arrived to discover a man who had suffered serious injuries in the incident and was in a critical condition.
“They immediately began administering advanced life support but sadly, despite their best efforts, it became apparent nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We are appealing for anyone who was in the area between 8pm and 9pm yesterday to get in touch if they saw anything.
"Any piece of information, however small, could be vital to our investigation.
"If you saw anything, contact us on 101 or via Live Chat quoting log 4878 of 13 November.
"Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to pass on any information."
Bilston North Councillor Linda Leach was among those paying tribute to the man on social media.
She wrote: "It’s dreadful news about the stabbing on Stowlawn last night.
"It’s always a shock when something like this happens on your doorstep close to home. Nobody should ever lose their life.
"We need to let the Police do their job but I will be calling on all the relevant authorities including the Police to reassure everyone and step up their patrols.
"People really need to feel safe where they live and we need to do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again."